Replace Junaid Ghaznavi on PTV Prime's Tafheem-e-Deen sign now

Assalam Alaikum

Dear Sir,

It is submitted for your kind consideration that on August 7th, 2003 during the televised PTV Prime program on Dish Satellite, Tafheem-e-Deen (The Proper Understanding of the Religion), Mr. Junaid Ghaznavi made some derogatory statements that have caused much dismay among viewers who belong to the mainstream Muslim community.

Click here to hear the relevant audio clip and transcript of Mr. Gaznavis talk

In response to a question asked about a specific religious individual in Pakistan, Mr. Ghaznavi made some general statements that can be summarized as follows:

Mr. Ghaznavi's Summarized Statement 1:

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), previous Messengers and Prophets (peace be upon them all), and the Awliya Kiram (The friends of Allah - may the mercy of Allah be upon them) were like common people who were NOT different in any way. Had they been different or strange in any way, they would not qualify to be Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them) or Awliya (may the mercy of Allah be upon them).

The Proper Position of the Mainstream Muslim Community:

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was undeniably a human being, but an extraordinary human being, who received revelation, performed extraordinary miracles by the guidance and patronage of Allah (Most High), ascended physically into the heavens and returned in a fraction of a second, and was pure light in his essence by his rank with Allah. Some of the miracles that Allah had bestowed upon him were the Quran and its inimitability; his commanding a tree and its saluting (greeting) the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); his pointing at the Moon and its splitting into two; his healing the sick and people with infirmities; and his many other miracles too numerous to mention in this letter. All of these characteristics were extraordinary, which as agreed by the rightly-guided scholars of the Muslim community like Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Imam Malik, Imam Shafii, Imam Abu Hanifa, Allamah Jalaluddin Suyuti, Sheikh Abdul-Haq Muhaddith Dehlavi, Maulana Rumi, Sheikh Saadi, Allamah Zamakhshari, and so forth (may the mercy of Allah be upon them all), distinguish him from normal or general human beings.

Likewise, the Awliya of Allah (may the mercy of Allah be upon them) were also distinguished from common individuals, but lesser in rank than Prophets (peace be upon them all). Logically, Mr. Ghaznavis statement in this matter is flawed because had they (peace be upon them all) been like normal individuals, why is it not that common individuals receive revelation or receive spiritual inspiration? Mr. Ghaznavi ignored the basic principle of the Ahl as-Sunnah (the People of Sunnah) as described by the well-known Muslim scholar who died in 1013 CE, Allamah Nasafi, "Karamaat ul-awliya haqqun (The charismatic miracles of the friends of Allah are true). He has ignored renowned Muslim scholars as well as the founders of the schools of thought of Tasawwuf, such as the Qaadiriyya, Chishtiyya, Naqshbandiyya, Suharwardiyya, Rifaiyya, and many others. All of the Awliya of these schools had charismatic miracles, not as a result of their own will, but delegated to them by Allah to convince disbelievers and hypocrites of their error. In this regard we cannot forget Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Khawaja Moinuddin of Chisht, Ali Hajweri, Khawaja Naqshband, Syed Ahmed Kabir ar-Rafai and so forth (may the mercy of Allah be upon them all). These Awliya promoted Islam in its true spirit and because of their great personalities the entire Sub-continent came under the fold of Islam. Had it not been for their laboring, by the Will of Allah, we would have probably remained as Hindu. It is because of this that Hazrat Allamah Iqbal once said, Nigah-e-mard-e-momin se badal jatein hain tagdeerain."

Although credence is not given to miracles in modern times, many individuals continue to believe in the truth of Islam as a result of charismatic miracles performed by the Awliya of Allah, to this day.

These are the characteristics that distinguish Prophets and Awliya from normal people, and not the criteria spelled out by Mr. Ghaznavi. Mr. Ghaznavi's views on this matter are not the mainstream opinion and are quite derogatory to the Muslim majority.

Mr. Ghaznavi's Summarized Statement 2:

Spiritual practices (Waza'if, Muraqabat, and so forth) are useless and deceiving, if they dont have their proofs in the Sunnat, and Muslims who practice them will be thrown headlong into the fire on the Day of Judgment. Muslims who perform these practices have been described in the Qur'an as, "Laboring (hard), and weary, while they enter the Blazing Fire" (Chapter 88 Ghaashiya: verses 3-4).

The Proper Position of the Mainstream Muslim Community:

Yes, it is true that any practice that does not have its basis in the Sunnat is useless and deceiving, but what Mr. Ghaznavi fails to define in his talks is the definition of the Sunnat, leaving the door of interpretation open to viewers, who in most cases may not be trained enough in their understanding of these matters, to able to tell the difference. The Sunnat, according to the people of Sunnat and the majority of the Ulema (Muslim Scholars), is a way; a path that has been approved or denied (explicitly or implicitly) by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), through his Hadith (sayings and traditions), through Ijmaa (the consensus of the scholars of the Ummah), through Qiyas (analogy), and through various other methods described by the jurists of Islam. According to them, the Sunnat is not just Hadith. By leaving that door of interpretation open, Mr. Ghaznavi strongly implies that spiritual practices, as practiced by the Awliya Kiram today and for hundreds of years are useless and deceiving. As such, he is speaking from his own opinion about things he knows nothing of, and outright denies the spiritual experience of millions of Muslims throughout the Islamic world. Additionally, he failed to consult, at the most basic level, the authentic exegeses (Tafaseer) and the reasons of revelation (Asbaab an-Nuzul) on the verses he quoted. He has used verses from the Qur'an that were specifically meant for those who have rejected faith (disbelievers), the Rabbis who labored hard in their spiritual practices but have been rejected by Allah, and in another opinion, the Khawaarij (those who have placed themselves out of the faith). Mr. Ghaznavi has no authority to quote verses from the Qur'an that clearly point to others and apply them to Muslims worldwide.

Keeping these facts in view, PTV Prime should opt for a moderate neutral policy for their programming, just as PTV follows in Pakistan. Since we believe that PTV Prime is an ambassador of Islam, not Wahabism, it should be forthcoming in our demands listed below.

We, the undersigned, demand that

Mr. Junaid Ghaznavi, of Tafheem-e-Deen, must apologize for his disrespectful statements about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the Awliya Kiram (the friends of Allah - may Allah have mercy on them).
PTV Prime replaces Mr. Ghaznavi with a moderate scholar who represents the mainstream of Islam.
PTV Prime should follow specific rules to instruct its hosts to avoid sectarian debates, since the channel represent viewers of different schools of thought.
PTV Prime takes proactive steps to implement the above-mentioned demands and that failing to do so may result in us mobilizing to retract subscriptions of PTV Prime.

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Kellie MossBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
Managing Director, Pakistan Television Prime Time (PTV Prime)

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